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Introduction to Information and Communication Technology in Education. (Moursund)Introduction to Information andCommunication Technology inEducation"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." (AfricanProverb)"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make itdrink." (A familiar adage.)These materials are Copyright (c) 2005 by David Moursund. Permission is granted to makeuse of these materials for non-commercial, non-profit educational purposes by schools, schooldistricts, colleges, universities, and other non-profit and for-profit preservice and inserviceteacher education organizations and activities.1/1/05David MoursundTeacher Education, University of OregonEugene, Oregon [email protected] . 20. Big Ideas . 41. Foundational Material. 142. Gaining Increased ICT in Education Expertise. 283. Compelling and Second Order Applications . 364. Generic Computer Tools. 485. ICT as Curriculum Content. 566. ICT as an Aid to Teaching and Learning. 647. ICT in Assessment and Accountability . 778. ICT in Special and Gifted Education. 929. Summary and Recommendations.108References.115Index .120Page 1

Introduction to Information and Communication Technology in Education. (Moursund)Preface"Without a struggle, there can be no progress."(Frederick Douglass, 1819-1895)"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most ofthem pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothingever happened." (Sir Winston Churchill)Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a major challenge to our educationalsystem. This book is designed for use by PreK-12 preservice and inservice teachers, and byteachers of these teachers. It provides a brief overview of some of the key topics in the field ofInformation and Communication Technology (ICT) in education. I wrote this book to help servethe needs of my students in a course titled Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age. You canaccess a syllabus for that course athttp://darkwing.uoregon.edu/ moursund/DigitalAge1/index.htm.The mission of this book is to help improve the education of PreK-12 students. A threepronged, research-based approach is used.Goal # 1 of this book is to help you increase your expertise as a teacher. There issubstantial research that supports the contention that students get a better education whenthey have “better” teachers.Goal # 2 of this book is to help increase your knowledge and understanding of variousroles of ICT in curriculum content, instruction, and assessment. There is significantresearch to support the benefits of ICT in these three areas. In addition, ICT is now animportant content area in each of the disciplines that you teach or are preparing to teach.Goal # 3 of this book is to help you increase your higher-order, critical thinking,problem-solving knowledge and skills. Special attention is paid to roles of ICT as an aidto solving complex problems and accomplishing complex tasks in all curriculum areas.Research suggests that US schools are not nearly as strong as they could be in helpingstudents gain increased expertise in problem solving and critical thinking.Now that I have stated goals for this book, I want to make clear a non-goal. This book is notdesigned to help you learn specific pieces of software. The typical first ICT in Educationcourse for preservice and inservice teachers has a strong focus on learning to make use of variouspieces of hardware, software, and connectivity. This book is not designed as a substitute for, or amajor aid to, learning these rudiments of ICT that are now being learned by many studentsbefore they get to college.This book is designed to addresses some of the weaknesses of typical first or second ICT ineducation courses that overemphasize learning computer applications and underemphasize otheraspects of the field of ICT in education. The book focuses on general topics such as ICT incurriculum, instruction, assessment, increasing problem-solving expertise of students, and inother aspects of a teacher’s professional work. The emphasis is on higher-order knowledge andskills.Alternatively, this book can be used in a second ICT in education course for preservice andinservice teachers, building on the “basic skills” taught in a first course. However, throughout thePage 2

Introduction to Information and Communication Technology in Education. (Moursund)book we argue that basic skills (lower-order knowledge and skills, rudimentary use of some ofthe general purpose pieces of computer software) should be integrated in with higher-orderknowledge and skills.The prerequisite for a course using this book is an introductory level of knowledge and skillin using a word processor in a desktop publication environment, using email, and using the Web.Nowadays, large numbers of students meet this prerequisite by the end of the 5th grade, sincesuch knowledge and skills are only part of the 5th grade standards for students established by theInternational Society for Technology in Education (ISTE NETS n.d.). Increasingly, instruction insuch basic skills is not considered to be an appropriate part of a college-level curriculum thatcarries credit towards a college degree.As you read this book, you will come to understand that ICT in education is a broad, deep,and rapidly growing field of study. ICT has the potential to contribute to substantialimprovements in our educational system. To date, relatively little of this potential has beenachieved. Moreover, the pace of change of the ICT field currently exceeds the pace of progressin making effective use of ICT in education. Thus, the gap between the potentials and the currentuses of ICT to improve PreK-12 education is growing.ICT is a very rapidly changing field. What can you learn, and what can you help yourstudents learn, that will last for decades or a lifetime, rather than just until the next “new,improved, better, faster, more powerful” ICT product appears on the market? This book willprovide you with some answers.David MoursundJanuary 2005Page 3

Introduction to Information and Communication Technology in Education. (Moursund)Chapter 0Big Ideas"Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give."(United Nations Declaration of the Rights of theChild, 1959)"Civilization advances by extending the number ofimportant operations which we can perform withoutthinking of them." (Alfred North Whitehead)It is assumed that you are reading this book because you are a preservice or inservice teacher,and/or because you are interested in learning more about how computers can contribute toimproving our educational system. Relatively few people thoroughly read an entire textbook.Their enthusiasm, interest, and energy level tends to wane as the book drags on and on. Thus,they often don’t reach the last chapter, which might be the most vital.To address this problem, I have done two things. First, I have kept this book relatively short.Second, I have placed a large chunk of my intended last chapter at the beginning. Since it comesbefore the ordinary first chapter, I have numbered it Chapter 0. Chapter 0 contains a briefintroduction to and summary of the Big Ideas (the unifying, very important themes) covered inthis book.I hope that your reading of this chapter will lead you into reading subsequent chapters. When(and if) you reach the end of this book, please come back and read Chapter 0 again. You may bepleasantly surprised by how much you have learned!The field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) combines science andtechnology. It includes the full range of computer hardware and software, telecommunicationand cell phones, the Internet and Web, wired and wireless networks, digital still and videocameras, robotics, and so on. It includes the field of Computer and Information Science and ahuge and rapidly growing knowledge base that is being developed by practitioners andresearchers. ICT has proven to be a valuable aid to solving problems and accomplishing tasks inbusiness, industry, government, education, and many other human endeavors. This remainder ofthis chapter lists a few of the Big Ideas (the important, long-lasting, unifying ideas) that haveguided the development of the material in this book.Big Idea 1: Problem Solving Using Body and Mind ToolsThe diagram of Figure 0.1 illustrates the single most important idea in this book. The idea isthat properly educated people, using tools that aid their physical bodies and their minds, cansolve a wide variety of challenging problems and accomplish a wide variety of challenging tasks.In approaching these problems and tasks, sometimes people work in multi-person teams andsometimes they work in one-person “teams.” Many other people, through the collectiveknowledge and tools of the human race, assist even a one-person team.Page 4

Introduction to Information and Communication Technology in Education. (Moursund)Tools to extendmental capabilities.Tools to extend shingTeamFormal and informal education and training to build mental andphysical capabilities and one!s knowledge and skills to effectivelyuse mental and physical tools individually and as a team member.Figure 0.1. Problem-solving, task-accomplishing team.The center of the diagram is a person or group of people working to solve a problem oraccomplish a task. The top part of the diagram focuses on the idea that throughout humanhistory, humans have been developing tools to enhance the capabilities and performance of theirbodies and minds. Think about: The time hundreds of thousands of years ago when our ancestors developed the makingof fire, the stone ax, the spear, and the flint knife as tools to enhance the food gatheringand use capabilities. Eleven thousand years ago when humans began to develop agriculture, along with thetools and methodologies to raise and effectively use crops and farm animals. Five thousand years ago when humans developed written language, a very powerful mindtool. Reading, writing, and arithmetic were developed as an aid to solving the problemsand accomplishing the tasks of a thriving and growing agricultural society.Reading, writing, and arithmetic were the first tools that required a formal and protractededucation system. Up to that time, the body and mind tools could be learned through informaleducation and apprentice systems. After that time, we began to have formal schools that havemany of the characteristics of today’s schools. The past 5,000 years have seen a huge growth inthe number of students receiving formal education and the length of that formal education.Also during the past 5,000 years, many new body and mind tools have been developed, andmany of these have been widely adopted. In terms of the diagram of Figure 0.1, this means thatour informal and formal educational system has been faced by the need for continual change inorder to appropriately accommodate the changing tools.A library can be thought of as being a mind tool. It facilitates the single most importantaspect of problem solving—building on the previous work of others (Moursund, 2004a). TheWeb is a global library that is steadily growing in the depth and breadth of its contents.Communication over distance and time is an essential component of building on the work ofother people. Thus, the Internet (which includes the Web) is of steadily growing importance ineducation.Over a period of thousands of years, there has been steady progress in “automating” orpartially automating mind and body tasks. Automated factory tools are, or course, an obviousexample of this progress. But, consider the development of inexpensive paper and writingPage 5

Introduction to Information and Communication Technology in Education. (Moursund)instruments, and the development of algorithms for “paper and pencil” arithmetic computation.The combination of paper, pencil, and such algorithms is a powerful aid to the human mind inrepresenting and solving arithmetic computational problems. ICT now plays a major role infactory automation. However, it is beginning to play an equally major role in the “automation” ofprocesses that the mind carries out. More and more mental tasks are being aided by and/orcarried out by ICT systems.Such uses of ICT raise a critical educational issue: If an ICT system can solve a type ofproblem or accomplish a type of task that we currently teach students in school to dowithout use of ICT, what should we now be teaching students about this problem or task?Big Idea 2: ICT is a Change AgentThe invention or development of a new physical body or mental tool creates bothopportunities and challenges. In brief summary, a new tool typically:1. Helps us to “better” solve some problems and accomplish some tasks that we arecurrently addressing without the new tool. Here, the term “better” may have meaningssuch as: in a more cost effective manner; faster; more precisely; more reliably; with lessdanger; and so on.2. Helps us to solve some problems and accomplish some tasks that cannot be solvedwithout the new tool.3. Creates new problems. For example, the development of the 3Rs created the educationaland social problems of who would receive a formal “grammar school” level of educationfocusing on these topics, and who would provide this education. This problem precededthe digital divide problem by about 5,000 years.ICT is an example of a technology that is a powerful change agent. Go